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Willamette Street Starbucks workers strike

Jake Lamourie, right with sign, joins other Starbucks workers and supporters on Monday.
Karen Richards
Jake Lamourie, at right with sign, joins other Starbucks workers and supporters on Monday.

Seven of the eight Starbucks stores in Eugene unionized this year. As of today, workers at the 29th Street location - the first in Oregon to unionize - are on strike, for what they feel is “union busting” activity.

Jake Lamourie is a barista at the 29th Street location. He told KLCC, “We’re on strike in response to a bunch of illegal activity on the part of Starbucks. They’ve been firing workers illegally, disciplining them illegally. They’re trying to change our hours without entering into bargaining with us, which is completely illegal.”

Strikers say some employees are afraid to be on the picket line because of the repercussions. In addition, they say Starbucks is giving every non-unionized store a generous new benefits package, with up to a seven percent raise, but unionized employees will earn just the $15-dollar an hour minimum wage or a two percent raise.

Lamourie says this is Day 1 of an indefinite strike. They’ll be out every day until some or all their demands are met. Other rallies are planned for later this week at this and the Franklin location.

After airtime, a Starbucks spokesperson said, "We currently have a strike happening outside the 29th & Willamette store location. Starbucks has great partners and we value their contributions. We respect our partners’ right to engage in any legally protected activity or protest without retaliation. We are grateful for each partner who continues to work and we always do our best to listen to the concerns of all our partners.” Starbucks refers to employees as "partners."

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.
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